Our Story

We built HHC hand-in-hand with our partner nonprofits, taking the burden of documentation collection and verification off of their plates.
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Our Journey

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.

Over four days, 1 trillion gallons of water fell across Harris County, enough to cover the entire county with an average of 33 inches of water. The sheer weight of the water depressed the Earth's crust: Houston sank two centimeters

We quickly learned that our physical infrastructure was inadequate.

All the bayous in Harris County flooded. 600,000+ cars and 120,000+ homes, not counting commercial buildings and apartments, flooded. Thousands of families were displaced across the county. With the havoc caused by Harvey, there was an enormous need for assistance as soon as possible.

We also learned that our social services infrastructure was inadequate.

In response to the devastation and the need, millions of philanthropic funds flowed in. Leaders in Houston, Harris County Judge Emmett and Houston Mayor Turner set up their own relief fund, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (HHRF), which was managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and raised $114M. The Fund’s focus was unmet needs in vulnerable populations.

Despite the millions flowing in to help the people of our city get back on their feet, many people seeking assistance were unable to access services and falling through the cracks.

We heard from Houstonians seeking assistance after Harvey:

"I don't know where to turn to receive help. When I call service providers, I get busy signals. I’ve been told that it will be months before I receive help because of waiting lists for services. I’ve wasted time filling out lengthy applications just to be told I’m ineligible for their services."

The HHRF team decided to step back and understand what was going on.

The team wanted to uncover the unmet needs of the most vulnerable. We did so through looking at the available data and listening to people seeking services. In December 2017, we convened 40 nonprofits in different neighborhoods to listen to their perspective.

We heard that the social services system was extremely hard to navigate for both seekers and the case managers helping seekers.
Put yourself in the shoes of one of our clients: You are a 58 year old trying to make day-to-day ends meet. Post-Harvey, you're living in a moldy home. Your car was flooded so you take 3 buses to work. After a long day at work, you have to figure out getting home repair assistance.

You have to navigate the cumbersome, bureaucratic social services system to access any funds out there. You are overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs and their various eligibility criteria and lengthy application processes.

You can't reach a few programs because they have recently changed their phone numbers. You fill out a long application form only to find out you were ineligible. You fill out an application for another program but they are at capacity and can’t help you right now. You wonder if you should fill out another application or just give up. 

This is not a rare scenario. We saw this as a reality for many seekers and case managers.

We need to radically improve the social services infrastructure. Harvey Home Connect was born as a pilot in our endeavor to improve the social services infrastructure.

To deploy fast and more intently, we decided to focus on home repairs at first. We launched in June 2018, accepting our first application on June 1, 2018 and completing repairs on our first home by July 25, 2018.

We built HHC hand-in-hand with our partner nonprofits, taking the burden of documentation collection and verification off of their plates. And seekers of services need to go to just one place: HarveyHomeConnect.org. Once they are at HarveyHomeConnect.org, we get them through the door of home repair social services ecosystem and track them through their journey.

Our Values

Built for Humans
We started by listening to seekers and convening local non-profits. Today, we are improving through engaging with the community. And we are constantly asking “how can we make this more accessible to our most vulnerable clients?” This ensures an easy to understand navigation experience for all our clients.

Treat Customer Like We Treat Loved Ones
We value, prioritize and measure customer service. We calculate a Net Promoter Score (NPS) that tell us how our clients are viewing our services and programs. NPS is a proven metric used in the business world to measure customer experience and predict growth.
Have a Bird's-Eye View of the System
We bring together various home repair agencies. This gives us a picture of the overall system, allowing us to see bottlenecks and solve problems at the systems-level rather than at an agency level. And we strive to make this systems-level data available to our clients and partners.